Inderscience Publishers

Evaluating the environmental benefits of industrial symbiosis: discussion and demonstration of a new approach

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

In this study, a computer model that includes a pulp mill, a paper mill, a sawmill and a biofuel upgrading plant, together with the possible energy and material exchanges between them, is used to evaluate the environmental impact of a possible Industrial Symbiosis (IS) arrangement in the forest industry. The method used is called the Method for analysis of INDustrial energy systems (MIND), which is an optimisation method based on mixed integer linear programming. In this study, the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the symbiosis system is compared to that from a system of stand-alone plants. We also discuss some of the reasons why measurement of environmental benefits is problematic, as well as the applicability of the method compared to some other frequently used methods for accounting for CO2 emissions and other environmental issues.

Keywords: industrial symbiosis, environmental assessment, MIND method, optimisation, carbon dioxide emissions, industrial ecology, pulp mills, paper mills, a sawmills, biofuel upgrading, biofuels, forest industry, greenhouse gases

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